Google wants a piece of that video conferencing market pie that Zoom is currently owning as the rollout of the free version of their Google Meet app is finally finished. Anyone who has a Google account (and if you’re on Android, you probably have one) will now be able to use the video conferencing service which has now been re-engineered “to make it free and available to all”. Due to the pandemic, the demand for video calling apps has increased, whether for personal or work-related reasons.
Google Meet was originally created for secure business meetings but now that there is a need for video conferencing tools for schools, offices, online events, and even for personal reasons, it has been re-engineered so that anyone can use it. Even all of the advanced features that were previously available only for G Suite customers can now be used as well. Anyone with an email address can start and join a meeting from the web, from Gmail, and from the Meet app itself.
They’ve made a lot of the most requested features available for everyone as well, including scheduling, screen sharing, real-time captions, adaptive layouts, and expanded tile view. You can create and share meetings with a code and you can also plan and schedule meetings from Google Calendar itself. All of these features are built on Google’s “secure, reliable global infrastructure” so those worried about Zoom’s security issues can shift to Meet. Well, that is, if you trust Google of course.
Google says that since they have made advanced features available for G Suite and G Suite for Education users, they are seeing a 30x daily growth, hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings every day. They have also added 3 million users every day since April. They now even have their first video ad, showing how you can use Google Meet for all your video conferencing needs, highlighting that your personal video calls are “among the most important meetings happening right now.”
Go to meet.google.com to start or join a meeting or download the app if you prefer it. You can also go to your Gmail if you want to start a meeting from there. Will they be able to match Zoom in terms of popularity and feature parity? We’ll find out in the next few weeks.